Many of you have heard about the book, “The Five Love Languages: How To Express Heartfelt Commitment To Your Mate” by Gary Chapman. It was a runaway success, and after that book Gary Chapman teamed with Ross Campbell to write “The Five Love Languages of Children.”
The thought behind this book is that each child has a “primary language of love, a way in which he or she understands a parent’s love best.” When you read this book, you go through ALL the love languages, because children benefit from all expressions of love, and also because over time your child’s love language might change.
I like this particular quote as to why love and connection are important: “In this book we will emphasize the importance of love in rearing your child. The ultimate goal is to rear your child (or children) to become a mature adult. All aspects of a child’s development require a foundation of love. For instance, a child’s feelings of anger can be channeled positively when he senses a parent’s love. He is more likely to consider and accept your suggestions when he perceives your love as genuine and consistent.”
The five love languages are
1. Physical Touch
2. Words of Affirmation
3. Quality Time
5. Acts of Service
Loving your child in their language on a consistent basis helps a child feel loved through the more challenging times. Loving your child in an unconditional way and keeping that connection filled, but still holding fast to the boundaries you set, is very important. These principles hold the keys for good parenting; I have written about this time and time again on this blog. Gentle parenting does not mean an absence of boundaries.
You are the parent. You have more life experience with which to guide your children. You should know yourself what boundaries there are in your own home and with each other. Children without any boundaries do not grow up to do well in the world because they have had everything handed to them on their whim and demand. You can be a gentle parent, an authentic parent, AND you can still do the hard work of keeping the boundaries you have set in your home. In fact, this is a must for your children to grow up to be healthy adults.
However, your children must feel loved in order for these boundaries to work, and love languages are a huge piece of this. You can say you love your child all you want, but if they do not “feel” loved, that is their perception. Love languages can be this bridge between your world and the world of your child. It can help provide that connection that forms the basis of a healthy family.
In the next post, we will take a peek at the characteristics of all five of the love languages. In that, you may learn something about your child, your spouse and yourself.